In addition, the ten-year integrated implementation period leaves current governments immune and increases the temptation to leave painful implementation to successor governments. The chances of one of the signatory governments still being in power in 2024 are extremely slim. Ignoring a long-term commitment thus frees up almost all political costs. 3 NATO, „Defense Expenditures Data for 2014 and Estimates for 2015, press release, 22 June 2015, www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_120866.htm. 1 North Atlantic Treaty Organization, „Wales Summit Declaration“, Press Release, 5 September 2014, www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_112964.htm. The following statements and agreements were reached at the summit: Another symptom of the problem is the heated debate on the strategic value of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to be concluded between the United States and the European Union. Some argue that the agreement is the last chance to consolidate the transatlantic bond in a way that permanently connects the two sides as strategic partners, thus creating a security effect of a trade agreement. Others argue that Europe`s strategic concerns can be better addressed through a regional approach to security, stressing that the Scandinavians, the inhabitants of the East and South of the EU are the most competent, naturally coordinated and therefore best suited to secure their neighbourhoods. 10 „Juncker: NATO is not enough, the EU needs an army“, EurActiv, 9 March 2015, www.euractiv.com/sections/global-europe/juncker-nato-not-enough-eu-needs-army-312724. To criticise Juncker`s proposal, see Jan Techau, „The Illusion of an Independent EU Army“, Judy Dempsey`s Strategic Europe (blog), Carnegie Europe, 10 March 2015, carnegieeurope.eu/strategiceurope/?fa=59296. 18 For more information, see NATO Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Center, Motivating Improved Contributions to the Alliance: Defense Measurements (Lisbon: Nato Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Center, 2011), www.jallc.nato.int/newsmedia/docs/factsheet_defence_metrics.pdf. Indeed, since the end of the Cold War, the dependence of NATO`s European allies on the United States has continued to increase, without decreasing.

As a percentage of GDP, Defense spending by European allies increased from an average of 2% in 1995-1999 to 1.5% in 2014, while that of the United States increased from 3.1% to 3.4% over the same period.5 In 1995, the United States increased. . . .